Real Madrid: The Ups and Downs from a humiliating loss to Valencia

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid conceded four against a Valencia side who were 16th in the league table before the game.

Real Madrid were given their third loss of the season by Valencia, who beat them 4-1 at Mestalla. Carlos Soler scored a hat trick of penalties, and Raphael Varane scored his second own goal in five games. It was very, very difficult to find a single positive from this. I did everything I could. A lot of negatives, though.



The only good thing about this game, which, well, wasn’t really an outcome, but it happened during, was Martin Odegaard coming back from injury. He didn’t have enough touches to make an impact, but his return could only mean good things for the team in the long run. He is an incredible chance creator and his defense-splitting passes and directness would come in handy for Zinedine Zidane, who would be thinking about his offensive schemes.

That’s it. That’s all the positives.



All four of Real Madrid goals directly involved a mistake from all four defenders, one after the other. First, it was a handball from Lucas Vazquez that resulted in a penalty. Second, it was Varane who scored the own goal. The third goal was a foul by Marcelo inside the box which resulted in the second penalty. And, the fourth, was another handball, this time from Sergio Ramos. (he basically gave the ball a boxing hook) You knew all of this already. Point is, even if the team as a whole does everything right (which in this case, wasn’t, but they didn’t perform as bad as the scoreline says) individual mistakes can make the team throw the game. These are things you can’t predict. But things like this do happen, and it is a part of football.

Real Madrid weren’t necessarily bad in the first half, and Valencia didn’t look like they’d challenge Thibaut Courtois all that much, but it still happened. I say this because Valencia had a non-penalty xG of 0.2. That’s almost nothing.

Real Madrid conceded four goals for the first time since the Ajax debacle, and it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for mistakes like this. Madrid weren’t bad, they weren’t fantastic, but played well enough to keep a clean sheet and win the game. No, it wasn’t the case throughout the game, but at least till the delayed penalty decisions started draining their energy. They would’ve won if luck went their way and the mistakes didn’t happen, but we all know that football doesn’t work that way. You pay for your mistakes. Period.